Food storage is the main concern especially in the summer months where spoilage is common. Meat, dairy and fish products are prone to spoilage because of high water activity and nutrient availability. Usually, dairy and non-veg food are consumed immediately or within few days to ensure they are fresh. Proper storage can keep your produce fresher and last longer than usual. Here is a guide to store dairy, meat and produce the proper way:

HOW TO PROPERLY STORE DAIRY AND MEATEGGS

How many of you store eggs in the fridge? Well, I too do that. Eggs don’t need to be stored in the fridge, they remain fresh and good on the kitchen counter itself in the tray they come in. If it is summer, you might want to toss them in fridge to avoid spoilage due to hot weather. Keep them unopened for 5 weeks in the fridge egg section. Read on unusual uses of egg shells >>

Storage condition and duration: 5 weeks in fridge egg section

FISH

Fish is something you need to consume as so as you get it home. Toss the fish in a storage zip lock plastic bag and store it in the deep freezer or on top of ice. This way, you can store it for 1-2 weeks but not longer. Delicious fish recipe >>

Storage condition and duration: 1-2 weeks in deep freezer

MEAT/POULTRY

If you buy packaged meat, you can store it in the fridge shelf for 2 days but do not use it if 2 days have already passed as meat/poultry tends to spoil soon because of the enzymes present in it and bacterial growth. If you buy fresh meat from the markets, wash them with water and wrap them up with aluminium foil. Toss it in the deep freezer and store for 3-4 days. You can also marinate them before storing this way.

Storage condition and duration: Packaged meat- 2 days in deep freezer; fresh meat- Wrapped in aluminium foil and in fridge shelf for 3-4 days

CHEESE

Cheese is something most people eat on daily basis or use it often in coking. If not stored properly, it can develop pungent smell and ultimately taste pungent too. To store cheeses properly, keep it wrapped in waxed paper since it allows it to breathe without letting in excess moisture or odours from the fridge. Keep it in the fridge lower freezer tray until expiry.

Storage condition and duration: Wrapped in wax paper on the lower freezer tray until expiry

HEAVY CREAM

Heavy cream being a milk product needs to be consumed as soon as possible/within 3-4 days once opened. You can store it unopened for 1 month in the refrigerator shelf.

Storage condition and duration: Opened- 3-4 days in refrigerator shelf; Unopened- 1 month in the refrigerator shelf

BUTTER

Butter is best stored in its original packaging with the butter paper. Although, you can shift it to the ait tight butter container along with the butter paper if you wish. Store it in freezer for 6 months at the maximum after opening or until expiry if it comes before 6 months.

Storage condition and duration: In an air-tight container on refrigerator shelf for 6 months or until expiry

YOGURT

Yogurt can be stored in the refrigerator shelf for 2 weeks and in the freezer for 2 months. It does get a bit sour after few weeks but is not harmful and can still be consumed. Homemade yogurt recipe >>

Storage condition and duration: 2 weeks on refrigerator shelf and 2 months in freezer

MILK

Milk being perishable in nature gets spoiled easily and gets curdled. Hence it is important to boil it at least once a day until fully consumed. Store it in the centre refrigerator shelf where the temperature is even and stable and consume within 2 days. If the packet is unopened, you can store it for 1 week. Read on different types of milk >>

Storage condition and duration: Opened: refrigerator shelf for 2 days; unopened- refrigerator shelf for 1 week

TOFU

Tofu should be dipped in water and then stored in the fridge for 1 week and in freezer for 5 months to keep it moist and fresh for longer. If unopened, keep it in the refrigerator shelf for 3 weeks.

Storage condition and duration: Opened- dipped in water and stored for 1 week in refrigerator shelf and 5 months in freezer; unopened- for 3 weeks in refrigerator shelf

COTTAGE CHEESE

Just like tofu, it is advisable to dip cottage cheese in water to keep it moist and soft. Cottage cheese lasts for 5-7 days in the refrigerator shelf and 2-3 months in freezer. Homemade cottage cheese recipe >>

Storage condition and duration: 5-7 days in the refrigerator shelf and 2-3 months in freezer

ADDITIONAL STORAGE TIPS:

  • To check whether your eggs are fresh or not, do float test. Fresh eggs sink while bad eggs float.
  • Choose milk in cardboard cartons or non-translucent jugs. Translucent containers allow light in that can cause milk to spoil more easily and more quickly.
  • Never store milk in the refrigerator door where it is susceptible to warmer temperatures from opening and closing the door.
  • Don’t leave any cooked seafood out for longer than two hours. Keep it refrigerated or insulated with ice if you’re planning to eat it later.
  • Leftover raw egg whites and yolks should be put in airtight containers and stored in the refrigerator immediately and consumed the same day.